At a ceremony held in late September, Sierra Nevada Corp (SNC) and Embraer rolled out the first US-produced A-29 Super Tucano. Unsurprisingly, it looks an awful lot like the traditional Super Tucano, of which Embraer has produced more than 170, but it’s still a milestone for the team behind the plane.
Without rehashing the tortured history of the light air support contract, suffice it to say this has been a long time coming for the companies. The plane pictured above will eventually go to Afghanistan to provide the Afghan military much needed air superiority as it continues to fight with local militants.
Although the A-29 is headed to Afghanistan, it’s production still marks the first real foothold Embraer, Brazil’s largest defense company, has had in the US market. That’s a major step for the company, and one that former Embraer Defense head Luiz Carlos Aguiar talked with Defense News about last year.
The market space for the A-29 is interesting. It has largely had just one competitor, the Beechcraft AT-6, but that space may becoming more crowded. Textron AirLand’s Scorpion jet, for example, is targeting that same market, with the belief that an inexpensive jet could provide more capability at similar cost to the two prop planes. Whether that happen remains to be seen, but in the meantime, Embraer pledged to continue to hit milestones for its Super Tucano.
Here are a few other promotional pictures released by Embraer.
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